In 2003, 3 acres of land was donated to LFA by the community elders at Emkhuzweni. Since then we have been building a Youth Zone/Community Partnership Center as a community level response to the orphan and poverty crisis caused by the HIV/AIDS pandemic that has infected 40% of the population.
Our goal is to develop a team that will intervene and break this cycle:
- AIDS illness and death
- Family impoverishment
- Family stress/collapse
- School dropout
- Child vulnerability
- New HIV infections
We have launched a number of programs for children and impoverished women that we hope will break into this vicious cycle: team sports, a library/reading facility, community gardens, and income producing projects such as roof tile production, the nursery and continued support of the local basket weavers. In planning are a library/reading facility and training for things like raising eggs and goat-milking.
As homes are impacted with the death toll of those falling to the AIDS virus, we are also developing a network of support as well as a temporary emergency shelter for children and young adults who are left behind to fend for themselves. It is impractical to build and operate orphanages for the vast numbers of orphans emerging as a result of this crisis.
70% of the land in Swaziland is owned by the King in trust for his subjects. 80% of the population live in rural settings as subsistence farmers on land they are allowed to settle on by local chiefs. If orphans are moved from these homes and fields to an institution located in another part of the country, the homes and fields they leave behind will fall into other hands within a year or two. These children would, therefore, lose their heritage and birthright – the continued use of their ancestral homes and fields. To protect the children’s future and heritage it is critical they remain in their communities and in their schools where possible. Our volunteers and field workers assist extended families in caring for orphaned children with basic necessities such as food, shelter, clothing.
All of the necessities we need are funded through donations and proceeds from basket sales. To find out more about the basket weavers, community garden, roof tile production, and other programs please visit the PROGRAMS page.